The Rise and Fall of Hope and Change

The Rise and Fall of Hope and Change

Alexis de Toqueville

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The United States Capitol Building

The United States Capitol Building

The Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Convention

The Continental Congress

The Continental Congress

George Washington at Valley Forge

George Washington at Valley Forge

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Good And An Historic Decision

From Old Virginia Blog:

28 June 2010


A Historic Decision & A Good One





















Today's Supreme Court ruling reaffirming an American citizen's inalienable right to "keep and bear arms" makes for some fascinating reading - both for legal scholars and historians. Here are just a few excerpts from the 214 page ruling:













"Heller makes it clear that this right is “deeply rooted inthis Nation’s history and tradition.” Heller exploredthe right’s origins, noting that the 1689 English Bill of Rights explicitly protected a right to keep arms for self-defense and that by 1765, Blackstone was able to assert that the right to keep and bear arms was “one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen”





And . . .



"Blackstone’s assessment was shared by the Americancolonists. As we noted in Heller, King George III’s attemptto disarm the colonists in the 1760’s and 1770’s “provoked polemical reactions by Americans invoking their rights as Englishmen to keep arms.” (Page 26.)





And . . .



“During the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people inorder to impose rule through a standing army or selectmilitia was pervasive in Antifederalist rhetoric.” (Page 21.)





And . . . the 2nd amendment is not just for Englishmen:





"The laws of some States formally prohibited African Americans from possessing firearms. For example, a Mississippi law provided that “no freed-man, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service ofthe United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowieknife." (Page 23.)





I've only perused the ruling, but it is loaded with a wealth of legal reasoning and historical references. You can find the full reading here. Justice Thomas's writings and views regarding this decision are particularly interesting and much closer to "original intent" philosophy.





An early, but good analysis here.





I suppose this is a victory for bitter-clingers everywhere.







Posted by Richard G. Williams, Jr. at 5:30 PM

How Well Did The New Deal Work Out, Really?

From The American Thinker:

June 29, 2010


How Did the New Deal Work Out?

By Greg Richards

Since the administration is in the process of trying to "jump-start" the economy with deficit spending, it is useful to review how the policies of FDR actually worked out in terms of economic performance in the 1930s.





The New Deal was not specifically a "Keynesian" program, in part because Keynes' magnum opus, The General Theory, was not published until 1936. However, the New Deal is regarded by Keynesians as the ur-program of government stimulus of the economy. This chart shows what happened to GNP during the New Deal.









Its time scale, as is true for all the charts in this article, is from 1929 to 1941. The year 1929 was the last before the Great Depression began, and 1941 is the first year in which the buildup for World War II had a significant effect. War production during 1941 reflected the passage of Lend-Lease in March 1941 to supply the British, Russians, and Chinese. Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941. The year 1942 and beyond reflect the total mobilization for World War II and represent a different world from the 1930s.





As can be seen in this chart, the first wave of the Great Depression occurred from 1929 to 1933, where GDP (in current dollars) went from $104 billion in 1929 to $56 billion in 1933 -- a decline of an astonishing 46%! Truly a crushing contraction. While the economy "recovered" from 1933, the first year of the Roosevelt administration, to 1937, it had another recession that year that carried GDP from $90 billion to $85 billion, or a contraction of a more normal recession level of 6%, but in its day, it was quite upsetting because of the continued high level of unemployment.





Note that GDP did not return to the 1929 level until 1940!





What did this mournful decade for the economy mean for employment?









The top line in this chart is the labor force, which shows steady growth due to the increase in population. The economically affected line is the red one, which shows employment during the New Deal. The pattern of this line matches that of GDP in the first chart. There is a dramatic swing down in employment from 1929's level of 48 million to the low point of the decade in 1933 of 39 million. This is a contraction in employment of 19%. This contraction, combined with the growth in the work force (top line in the chart above) during the same period, had a devastating effect on the unemployment rate, as shown in the next chart.









The unemployment rate soared from a pre-Depression level of 3.2% in 1929 to a disastrous 24.9% in 1933. The chart has two dotted lines to help your eye -- one at 15% and one at 5%. The one at 15% is there to help emphasize that the unemployment rate did not get below 15% until the start of the war buildup in 1941. This, in spite of all the New Deal programs during the 1930s. The 5% line is there to emphasize just how far above a "normal" unemployment level of 5% the 1930s experience was.





The New Deal was an experimental program, not specifically a Keynesian one. At that time, economists did not have the theory that federal deficits by themselves would stimulate the economy by making up a deficiency in aggregate demand. Rather, the New Dealers decided that they would not let a balanced budget get in the way of government spending on programs designed to help the economy and relieve some of the suffering of unemployment. Nevertheless, the New Deal has come down to us as a de facto Keynesian program, so let's look at the level of federal deficits during the 1930s.









From a surplus in 1929, the federal budget went into deficit for the entire 1930s -- both the Hoover and the Roosevelt administrations -- "peaking" out at 4% of GNP, a very large number in those days for a non-wartime period. As can be seen from this set of charts, these deficits were not sufficient to restore the economy to health. It can be argued that they resulted in some improvement in the economy, and that the reduction in the deficit virtually to zero in 1937 helped create the recession of that year. Keynesians will argue that had the deficits been larger, the effect on the economy would have been more beneficial. As with all social science outcomes that are anchored in history, this point cannot be proven one way or another.





The overall conclusion that I and many others draw is that the New Deal policies did not restart the economy and were by that definition a failure. This is a cautionary experience for our current condition, as there is a tendency for Keynesian economists and their followers to assume that the New Deal was a success. But note that the unemployment rate during the entire 1930s never dipped below a disastrous 15%!





What caused the Great Depression? Economists do not agree on the answer to this question, but there was basically no answer to it until the 1963, and the publication of A Monetary History of the United States 1867 - 1960 by Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobsen Schwartz.





(Even among economists, it is not generally known that the cause advanced by Keynes in The General Theory was not just an insufficiency of aggregate demand, but an exhaustion of high-yielding investment opportunities in a mature economy (as then perceived) leading to oversaving and underconsumption. I.e., The General Theory is not a manual for managing the business cycle, but a diagnosis that demand in a mature economy would wind down due to satiation of needs and to lowering returns on investment and that it would have to be permanently supplemented by government spending to achieve full employment.)





Friedman and Schwartz shook the economics profession by hypothesizing, and, in the view of many, demonstrating that the cause of the Great Depression was a contraction in the money supply (M2). M2 during the New Deal is shown in the following chart.









What Friedman and Schwartz discovered was that the money supply -- M2 -- was allowed by the Fed to contract by 31% -- virtually one-third -- between 1929 and 1933! This was a catastrophic error, not least because the 1929 downturn in the economy was the first "modern" recession where there was significant consumer debt outstanding. The 1920s were the first big consumer decade in U.S. history. The refrigerator, washing machine, and automobile were the PCs of their day, combined with the development of the mortgage market.





The very violent post-World War I downturn in 1920-1921 was the last of the "classical" recessions, where there was not significant consumer debt in the economy, and so prices could be allowed to drop precipitately. Once there was significant consumer debt outstanding, a drop in prices -- deflation -- was catastrophic because debt repayments then had to be made in more expensive dollars. The Fed did not understand the structural change in the economy between the end of the 1920-1921 recession and the onset of the 1929 recession and thus viewed a contraction in the money supply with equanimity. This was a historic mistake. Friedman and Schwartz identified this contraction in M2 as the factor that turned an ordinary recession in to the Great Depression. This is the reason that Ben Bernanke has stressed during his tenure as Chairman of the Fed that he will not permit deflation to occur.





What is the takeaway from this analysis? Two points.





•Deficit spending -- Keynesian spending -- during the New Deal, while not at the level being used today, did not "restart" the economy; unemployment remained at unacceptable levels throughout the decade of the 1930s.



•The administration should be very careful using a model where there is no historic evidence that it has worked, not to mention that the balance sheet of the country no longer has the liquidity to support a deficit spending model indefinitely.

The Democrats' Five Stages Of Grief

From The American Thinker:

June 29, 2010


The Democrats' Five Stages

By Alex Stevenson

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a groundbreaking analysis of the changes that happen to people upon been informed of a terminal illness. In her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Kubler-Ross describes five stages of grief, a process by which people deal with tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness. Her work created awareness to the sensitivity required for better treatment of individuals who are dealing with a fatal disease. The five stages are:





Denial is a temporary defense for the individual.





Anger -- when denial fails, resistance and rage against the truth replace it.





Bargaining involves the hope that the inevitable can be delayed.





Depression is the beginning of understanding the inevitable.





Acceptance is honestly dealing with the reality of the situation.





The Democrats are going through this process.





Consider the Democrats' response to the Tea Party Movement in terms of this analysis. The Democrats and media offer a classic instance of Denial. The unified response by the party and the media was to characterize the movement as "Astroturf." MSM reports on the Tea Party demonstration in Washington minimized the large number of participants and labeled them as poorly organized and unlikely to have any influence on the debate of the role of the federal government in our current crisis.





The second stage, Anger, is well underway and may have peaked. The House Democrats called the Tea Party "racist," claiming imaginary swastikas at rallies, and marched to the Capitol in force, bearing the Imperial Gavel in order to provoke an incident. The only incident was a phony spitting accusation and a nonexistent racial epithet by an entrenched incumbent race-baiter.





Looking forward in the political process, Americans should anticipate the third stage, Bargaining. The Democrats will offer up candidates under the false-flag, third-party "Tea Party." In Florida, Democrat Congressman Alan Grayson has conspired with corrupt local operatives to register the Tea Party as a political party. The intention is to put candidates on the ballot in November in order to confuse the electorate and draw votes away from the newly invigorated Republicans. We can anticipate more of this nationally, depending on its success in Florida and Nevada.





Depression will be the overwhelming emotion in the Democrat leadership after the elections in November. They will be inconsolable and difficult to deal with in the depths of their despair, and not just a little dangerous. The few months between the November election and new members taking their seats in House and Senate will be a lame duck session we all should fear.





The final stage is Acceptance. Will the Democrats ever abandon the tactics that delegitimize a Republican majority? Accusations of election fraud and lawsuits will be in the news in the period following any significant Democrat loss. It is doubtful that the Democrats will ever accept the new situation and start the cycle of grief over from the first stage, denial. The rage will be renewed through the rent-a-mob, and bargaining will begin anew as committee seats are renegotiated.





Depression will bring the retirement of the previous powerful committee chairmen and other figures unable to deal with their loss, thus setting the stage for a new generation of Democrats, who will adjust to the new power structure. Acceptance will be required to advance any legislation favored by the Democrats, so in the long run, the new generation will come to terms.





Alex Stevenson is a public safety professional in Florida.

The Myth Of Monolithic Communism

From Mises.org:

The Myth of Monolithic Communism


Mises Daily: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by Murray N. Rothbard



[Libertarian Review, 1979]



For decades it was an axiom of conservative faith that international Communism was and must be a monolith, that Communism in all its aspects and manifestations was simply pure evil (because it was "atheistic" and/or totalitarian by definition), and that therefore all Communism was necessarily the same.



For one thing, this meant that all Communist parties everywhere were of necessity simply "agents of Moscow." It took conservatives years to disabuse themselves of this mythology (which was true only during the 1930s and most of the 1940s). Tito's courageous break with Stalin and world Communism in 1948 was considered a trivial exception; and for many years after the bitter China-Russia split, conservatives clung to the fond hope that this split must be a hoax designed to deceive the West. However, now that China has shifted from attacking Russia for not being opposed enough to US imperialism, to urging the United States ever onward to a war with Russia; and now that the Vietnamese Communists have crushed the Cambodian Communist regime in a lightning thrust, this myth of a world Communist monolith has at last had to be abandoned.



Why should all Communist parties and groups necessarily form a monolith? The standard conservative answer is that Communists all have the same ideology, that they are all Marxist-Leninists, and that therefore they should necessarily be united. In the first place, this is an embarrassingly naive view of ideological movements. Christians, too, are supposed to have the same religion and therefore should be united, but the historical record of inter-Christian warfare has been all too clear. Secondly, Marx, while eager enough to criticize feudalist and "capitalis" society, was almost ludicrously vague on what the future Communist society was supposed to look like, and what Communist regimes were supposed to do once their revolution had triumphed. If the same Bible has been used to support an enormous and discordant variety of interpretations and creeds, the paucity of details in Marx has allowed for an even wider range of strategies and actions by Communist regimes.



Moreover, ideology is not all. As libertarians should be aware, whenever any group, regardless of ideology, takes over a State, it immediately constitutes a ruling class over the people and the land governed by that State. It immediately acquires interests of State, which can readily clash with the interests of other State ruling classes, regardless of ideology. The splits between Yugoslavia and Russia, China and Russia, and now Vietnam and Cambodia, were mixtures in varying proportions of inter-State and ideological clashes. And generally when one of these conflicts launched the fray, the other soon caught up.



But if everyone must now concede that there can be and are clashes and even bitter warfare between Communist states, libertarians have been slow to realize that Communism is not a monolith in yet another sense — in the sort of "domestic" or internal regime that Communist rulers will impose. There are now vast differences among the various Communist regimes throughout the globe, divergences that literally spell the difference between life and death for a large part of their subject populations. If we want to find out about the world we live in, therefore, it is no longer enough for libertarians to simply equate Communism with badness, and let it go at that.



This necessity for grasping distinctions is particularly vital for libertarians: For our ultimate aim is to bring freedom to the entire world, and therefore it makes an enormous difference to us in which direction various countries are moving, whether toward liberty or toward slavery. If, in short, we consider a simplified spectrum of countries or societies, with total freedom at one end and total slavery at the other, different varieties of Communist regimes will range over a considerable length of that spectrum, from the horrifying slave state of Pol Pot's Cambodia all the way to the quasi-free system of Yugoslavia.



Until World War II, Soviet Russia was the only example of a Communist regime. And even it had gone through remarkable changes. When the Bolsheviks assumed power in late 1917, they tried to leap into full "communism" by abolishing money and prices, an experiment so disastrous (it was later dubbed "War Communism") that Lenin, always the supreme realist, beat a hasty retreat to a mere semisocialist system in the New Economic Policy (NEP). During the mid and late 1920s, the ruling Communist apparatus debated within itself what path to pursue in the future. Nikolai Bukharin, Lenin's favorite theoretician, advocated moving forward to a free-market economy, with peasants allowed to develop their land voluntarily and to purchase manufactured goods from abroad. For a while it looked as if Bukharinism would win out, but then Stalin seized power in the late 1920s and early 1930s and brutally collectivized the peasantry and the rest of the economy, ushering in two decades of the classic Stalinist model: collectivized economy, forced industrialization and political terror.



The Case of Yugoslavia

The first break from the Stalinist model was that of Tito, who followed his 1948 political break two years later with a remarkably rapid shift away from the collectivized economy and toward the market. By the late 1960s, Yugoslavia, which had never dared to collectivize agriculture, allowed numerous small private businesses, while the "socially owned sector" had been shifted to producers' coops, owned by the workers in each particular firm. Among these firms, a roughly free-price and free-market system was allowed to operate, and taxes were drastically lowered so that each worker-controlled firm controlled its investments out of its own profits. Along with the shift to the market came the welcoming of foreign investment, the freedom of emigration and return, extreme decentralization for the nationalities within Yugoslavia, and even limited contested elections and limited check by parliament upon the executive.



Even philosophically, the Yugoslavs began to stress the primacy of the individual over the collective; and while political prisoners continue to exist there and free speech is feeble, the contrast with Stalinism is enormous. The Titoites have even decided to take seriously the long-forgotten Marxian promise of the "withering away of the State"; the way to do it, they have concluded, is to start withering. All observers remark that Belgrade and especially Croatian Zagreb are the only Communist cities in the world where the spirit of the people is happy, consumer goods are diverse and plentiful, and life is not simply a dim gray haze of shortages, queueing up, rationing, and enforced silence.



Following Yugoslavia's lead, the rest of Eastern Europe has also gone far along the path to free markets and a price system, although not nearly as far as pioneering Yugoslavia. The least degree of liberalization has occurred in Russia, although even here the status of dissidents today is far better than under Stalin.



This does not mean, of course, that Yugoslavia is "libertarian," or that the free market has been fully established there. But it does mean that there is hope for freedom and for the human spirit when Eastern Europe has come so far in a relatively short time from collectivized misery to at least a semifree system. Conservatives have always believed that once a nation goes Communist it is irrevocably doomed — that collectivism, once adopted, is irreversible. Yugoslavia, and to some extent the remainder of Eastern Europe, have shown that this is not true, that the spirit of freedom can never be extinguished.



The Liberalization of China

For a long while it looked as if China would never be liberalized, that it would remain locked in the super-Stalinism of Maoism. For nearly a decade after their takeover, the Chinese Communists did retain a semi-free-market system, only to extirpate it in two savage thrusts into totalitarianism: the Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s (which featured such disastrous economic experiments in self-sufficiency as a steel plant in every rural commune's backyard), and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s (in which the division of labor was crippled, education was stifled, economic incentives were eliminated, and compulsory communes were strengthened with a repressive apparatus extending into each urban block and rural village). Art, literature, and speech were all brutally suppressed.



It all came apart with the death in 1976 of the founding absolute despot himself, Mao Tse-tung. The "Gang of Four," led by Mao's widow Chiang Ching and leaders of the radical Left, were arrested, to the tune of spontaneous outpourings of joy by the Chinese populace, even in "red" Shanghai. Mao's successors, led clearly over the last year by the twice-disgraced Teng Hsiao-p'ing, have moved with remarkable speed to dismantle totalitarian Maoism and to shift rapidly toward a far freer economy and society. Western culture is now permitted and encouraged. Wall posters are allowed that call for ever-greater democracy and human rights, one even quoting from the American Declaration of Independence. And consumers are permitted to escape the compulsory anthill uniformity of clothing and to buy a variety of consumer goods. Workers are allowed to respond to economic incentives to produce and consume (instead of the "moral" incentives imposed by the bayonet and by Communist Party snoops). A far greater interplay of small-scale private property and free markets is permitted. A rule of law is soon to replace arbitrary whim by ad hoc military and party committees. And particularly important is that the Chinese are now telling their people that Mao, and even Marx himself, were not always right, that even Marxism must pass judgment before the bar of truth (now called, in Tengian jargon, "the Norm of Truth"). Foreign investment and trade is being encouraged.



In a sense, China has only now gone as far as Stalinism, although even that is a great improvement over Mao. But there are signs that it will go much further toward the Eastern European system. When Chinese Premier Hua Kung-fo visited Yugoslavia last year, he clapped his hands with glee when he heard that worker-owned firms there can actually go bankrupt. In the October 6, 1978, issue of China's major journal, the People's Daily, the veteran economist and historian Hu Chiao-mu, once a secretary to Mao, dumped during the Cultural Revolution, and now president of the new Tengian Academy of Social Sciences, published a highly significant article charting the nation's new economic course — "Observe Economic Laws and Speed Up the Four Modernizations" (People's Daily, Oct. 6,1978; for an analysis, see China News Analysis, #1139, Nov. 10, 1978).



Hu called for radical reorganization of the Chinese system, and for "rule by contracts instead of mandatory rule of the economy, with minimum government interference, which would also entail the withdrawal of the Party from running the economy. He advocated division of labor, freer trade, and putting economics above political power. Hu's statement that "experience has shown that socialism cannot guarantee that political power will not do immense damage to economic development" is a remarkable one, considering the source. China News Analysis concludes that



What Hu describes is a free economy in which the workers sign a contract with the enterprise, the enterprise makes its own decision in the form of contracts with other enterprises or with the State, and the implementation of the contracts is controlled by the judiciary. What Hu envisages is, though this is not stated explicitly, an independent judiciary competent to adjudicate on contracts not only between individuals but also between the State and individual firms. Similarly the villages are to be left free to decide what to sow, and they are not to come under the authoritative rule of officials.



Again, no one is saying that China is or will soon become a libertarian paradise, but the contrast with anthill Maoism is staggering.



Toward Liberty in Southeast Asia

This brings us finally to Vietnam and Cambodia. With its unfortunate and vicious nationalization of the merchants in the South last year, Vietnam has now taken its place as a typical Stalinist country. But Cambodia ("Democratic Kampuchea") was something else again. It was undoubtedly the most horrendous regime of this century anywhere in the world. Not only did the Cambodian Communists quickly murder millions after taking power, and forcibly evacuate the cities at one blow; not only was death the penalty for the slightest infraction or disobedience to the regime: the key to its diabolic control was its abolition of all money, abolition is also enforced through murder and terror. Even Stalin, even Mao, retained the use of money; and so long as money exists, there is some sort of price system, and people are able to buy goods of their choice and move from place to place, even if in black markets or in disobedience to government regulations. But if money is abolished, then everyone is helpless, dependent for his very subsistence on the meager rations grudgingly handed to him by the regime in power. From the abolition of money came compulsory rural communalism, including the abolition of private eating, the institution of compulsory marriages, and the eradication of learning, culture, the family, religion, etc. Cambodia was horror incarnate.



The Vietnamese lightning thrust that smashed the Cambodian regime was not solely or even primarily caused by ideological considerations. Undoubtedly uppermost were ancient ethnic hostility between the more prosperous Vietnamese and the more backward Khmers (inhabitants of Cambodia); the desire of the Vietnamese rulers to dominate all of Indochina; anger at long-repeated border incursions by Cambodian troops; and the Vietnamese fear of growing encirclement by the combined forces of the United States and China, supporting Cambodia on its southwestern flank. But there is no denying the horror that even the Vietnamese Stalinists felt for the Cambodian monstrosity. When they entered the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, the Vietnamese described the desolation of that city, and spoke of the deliberate mass murders, the forced evacuations. A top Vietnamese Communist official, Phan Trong Tue, spoke of the late Cambodian regime as having killed masses of people "with hammers, knives, sticks and hoes, like killing wee insects."



And then Tue rose to a pitch of eloquence:



The whole country was reduced to nil; no freedom of movement, no freedom of association, no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, no freedom to study, no freedom of marriage, no currency, no business, no trade, no more pagodas, and no more tears to shed over the people's sufferings. (D.P.I. dispatch, January 12, 1979)



We may contrast this to the shameful whitewashing of Cambodia by the American media after Cambodia's mentor, China, drew closer to the United States, and to the US defense of Cambodia against Vietnam before the United Nations, coupled with the barest slap on the wrist for its "possible" violations of human rights.



$15 $10

I hasten to add — for the benefit of attentive readers — that I do not condone the Vietnamese violation of the principle of nonintervention, and that if I were a Vietnamese, and in the unlikely event that I could express my dissent freely, I would have opposed the invasion. But now that the invasion has been concluded, we can all surely be permitted to rejoice at the death of the most monstrous, bizarre, and evil State in many centuries. As I tried to make clear at the collapse of the Thieu dictatorship in South Vietnam, one can hail the death of a State without implying approval of the State that replaces it. The new Vietnamese-backed Salvation Front regime of Heng Samrin has already restored money, freedom of religion, freedom of marriage, freedom to return to cities, and freedom to cook and eat in one's own home (symbolized by the new regime's restoring a cooking pot to each family previously dragooned into communal kitchens). The new Salvation Front regime is indeed a haven of freedom for the individual Cambodian compared to the previous slavery under Pol Pot. But this by no means implies that the new regime is libertarian or that its own statism should not be opposed and combated by the Cambodian people.



But for the people of China and Cambodia, recent events have meant a leap toward freedom that can only bring rejoicing to the hearts of libertarians everywhere.



Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995) was dean of the Austrian School. He was an economist, economic historian, and libertarian political philosopher. See Murray N. Rothbard's article archives.



This article was originally published as "The Myth of Monolithic Communism" in Libertarian Review, Vol. 8., No. 1 (February 1979), p. 32.

Throwing Rocks

from The American Thinker:

2010


Throwing Rocks

By Russ Allen

On Monday, June 7, 2010, at 6:30pm, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed fifteen-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereka in a concrete channel alongside the Rio Grande. The channel marks the border between Mexico and the U.S. and lies between the cities of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas. The agent was attempting to detain members of a group of Mexicans who had run across the channel to the U.S. side of the border. He successfully subdued one of the group, but the others retreated to the Mexican side and began hurling rocks at him. The agent responded by firing his weapon -- a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol -- three times, shooting one-handed across the border at his assailants while holding the Mexican he had detained with his other hand. Two of his shots hit Sergio Huereka, once in the shoulder and once in the head.





There has since been a massive response in the Mexican media, showing images of Sergio's family and friends crying uncontrollably while hugging his casket. U.S. mainstream media have obligingly followed suit, displaying the same footage to the American public while repeatedly pointing out that Sergio was "only 15."





Sergio's mother insists that he was a "good boy" and that he and his friends were only "playing a game," wherein they would run across the channel to the U.S. side, touch the concrete wall, then rush back. It is impossible to verify whether this is true...but even supposing it is, the boys were breaking the law. American youth consider it a kind of "game" to tag buildings with graffiti, or to street race. Yet if a group of "urban artists" were caught red-handed (pun intended) by a police officer and chose to back off and throw rocks at him...they would get shot.





Border Patrol records show that Sergio was a "known juvenile smuggler," charged with alien smuggling in 2009 -- a detail the mainstream American media has failed to mention and that sheds doubt on Sergio's status as a "good boy"...not surprising, as the mother can hardly be expected to be an unbiased witness.





Much has been made over the fact that the boys were "only throwing rocks," and therefore the Border Patrol agent had no cause to shoot and kill one of them. This is an outrageous statement, revealing a number of assumptions equally exaggerated and improbable.





Only throwing rocks? The U.S. Border Patrol has reported 604 rock-throwing incidents in the last year. "There's a misperception people have that we're having pebbles thrown at us," says Mark Qualia, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman in Washington. "They are stones the size of baseballs in some cases or half a brick. You can't take this lightly."





Okay, so they are big rocks. Big deal, right? There's still a big difference between a big rock and a big gun, right?





Wrong. According to geological information obtained from the University of Texas at El Paso website, the most common surface rocks in the El Paso area are granite and limestone. A baseball made of either of those stones would weigh over a pound. Assuming a random asymmetrical shape and imperfect density, you still end up with a weighty missile; half a pound at the lightest. It doesn't require knowledge of ballistics and physiology to imagine the effect of being hit in the head with such a rock.





A well-thrown rock is just as deadly as a well-aimed bullet, a fact that becomes obvious through the lens of history, wherein rocks of one size or another were commonly employed as deadly weapons and were wielded or hurled in various manners and with great success. In fact, to hurl a rock with intent to kill or damage across a border between nations was often considered an act of war. Did the advent of the nuclear bomb cause the .50 caliber machine gun to lose its status as a deadly weapon? Hardly. Thus, the presence of a .40 caliber pistol does not relegate a hurled rock to a harmless bit of fluff.





Back to the outrageous statement. "[T]he Border Patrol Agent had no cause to shoot[.]" Really? Law enforcement officers in the U.S. are taught that if they determine that their life or that of another is in danger, they are authorized by law to use deadly force. They are taught to aim their weapon at the center of the target and fire until there is no longer a threat. With an accurate perspective on the matter of throwing rocks, it is clear that the Border Patrol agent did what was necessary to protect his own life as well as that of the young Mexican he had detained.





So much attention has been given to the fallacious notion that the men and women charged with protecting and upholding public safety should treat criminals gently and with kid gloves -- even in the face of life-threatening violence -- that these Mexican teenagers felt safe enough to throw rocks at an armed man. It could be argued that the death of Sergio can be lain directly at the feet of those who propagate such nonsense.





In closing, I would like to make two outrageous statements of my own. One, I am proud of the U.S. Border Patrol for striving mightily at an almost impossible and endless job... and two, don't bring a rock to a gun fight

Muslim Pleads Guilty To Helping With Plot/Jihad Against JFK Airport

from Creeping Sharia:

NY: Muslim pleads guilty to helping plot jihad at JFK airport


Posted on June 30, 2010 by creeping

via Abdel Nur pleads guilty to helping plot explosion of fuel tanks at JFK airport.



A Guyanese national pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in an international plot to blow up fuel lines and fuel tanks at Kennedy Airport.







Abdel Nur copped to providing material support to co-conspirators a day before he was scheduled to go on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. Nur faces 15 years in prison under the plea deal approved by prosecutors in Brooklyn and the U.S. Justice Department. He could have gotten life in prison if convicted after a trial.



“I understood the goal of the planning of the destruction of fuel tanks and fuel by planes was to cause major economic loss in the United States,” Nur said in court.



Nur, 60, had been recruited to travel to Trinidad in late 2006 to seek financing for the evil plot from the leader of Jamaat al Muslimeen, a Muslim extremist group.



The plan, hatched by ex-airport cargo worker Russell Defreitas, targeted the Buckeye pipeline which feeds 8 million gallons of jet fuel and refined petroleum to the airport daily. Had the attack succeeded, the terrorist wannabes hoped the conflagration would eclipse 9/11, according to court papers.



Lawyers for Defreitas and co-defendant Abdul Kadir — a former member of the Guyanese parliament — insisted they are fighting the charges.



A fourth plotter, Kareem Ibrahim, has been severed from the case because he is too ill to stand trial.



Severed from the case? Not too ill to plan blowing up a major airport, but too ill for trial?

Soros And The Evil Webs He Has Spun

From A Charging Elephant and CBS News:

Soros and the Evil the Web He Has Spun


June 30, 2010 · 24 Comments

Chandler’s Watch

Howe H/T GG

This is an absolutely astounding read. You must read on to find my Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment. There remains a couple of questions for me, who does the CIA report to and why is George Soros still alive? Rational thoughts while observing the international charade, I’m J.C.

Obama’s Puppet Master



While doing some research on Soros, I learned he was the front man for the Rothchild’s family, who had such control over Europe, the Balkans, and Russia in the early part of the 20th Century. Their money helped him get his start, and they are pulling his strings. While the USA is a target, thru Obama, they are trying to get control over Russia and it’s former vassal states, because of the rich natural resources they have. Do some digging yourself and see if you can find anything on this connection. We are like blind little ants, while they are playing deadly chess with countries as their chess pieces.







This just might explain a whole lot of what is happening in today’s world. If you want to be informed, take the time to read about one of the most corrupt men of our generation, or should we say “the godfather of evil”.



Most of us have heard of him. Few really know who he is or what he’s got planned for us (or the rest of the world). Apparently, Obama knows him well. Here is some information to sink your teeth into.



PS: CBS writer, Steve Kroft, certainly likes to live on the edge…





Some time ago I wrote an article questioning who might be the power or puppet master behind Barack Hussein Obama. It has to be someone because of his meteoric rise to power, with experience at virtually nothing, with questionable wisdom, and with a mysterious past that has been carefully erased and hidden where no one can check it. This puppet master, whomever he is, apparently paid for Obama’s education and his travels to Pakistan for some mysterious purpose, and promoted him into Illinois then national politics.



I once suggested it might be billionaire George Soros. I now believe that to be the case more than ever.



George Soros might be the most evil man in the world, with intent to destroy America and every value we have held dear. Obama seems to be in lockstep with Soros’ philosophies and simply a tool in Soros’ world-changing strategies. Both must be stopped.



Read the below article and judge for yourself. It is from Resistnet



“Who is behind Barak Obama? Who is pulling the strings?”



Here is what (CBS’) Mr. (Steve) Kroft’s research has turned up………bit of a read, but it took 4 months to put it together…



GEORGE SOROS TEA PARTY ENEMY #1



“The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States .” George Soros



“George Soros is an evil man. He’s anti-God, anti-family, anti-American, and anti-good.” Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson



Is it possible to lay the global financial meltdown, the radicalizing of the Democratic Party, and America ’s moral decline, at the feet of one man?



YES, It is indeed possible.



IF George Soros isn’t the world’s preeminent “malignant messianic narcissist,” he’ll do until Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are reincarnated.



What we have in Soros, is a multi-billionaire atheist, with skewed moral values, and a sociopath’s lack of conscience. He considers himself to be an elitist world class philosopher, despises the American Way and just loves to do social engineering (change cultures).



Soros is the power behind the throne of Obama. I accuse George Soros of being the PUPPET MASTER that is pulling Obama’s strings.



Gyargy Schwartz, better known to the world as George Soros, was born August 12, 1930 in Hungary . Soros’ father, Tivadar, was a fervent practitioner of Esperanto a language invented in 1887, and designed to be the first global language, free of any national identity.



The Schwartz’s, who were non-practicing Jews, changed the family name to Soros, in order to facilitate assimilation into the gentile population, as the Nazis spread into Hungary during the 1930s.



When Hitler’s henchman Adolf Eichmann arrived in Hungary , to oversee the murder of that country’s Jews, George Soros ended up with a man whose job was confiscating property from the Jewish population. Soros went with him on his rounds.



Soros has repeatedly called 1944 “the best year of his life.”



“70% of Mr. Soros’s fellow Jews in Hungary, nearly a half-million human beings, were annihilated in that year yet he gives no sign that this put any damper on his elation, either at the time or indeed in retrospect.”



During an interview with “Sixty Minute’s” Steve Kroft, Soros was asked about his “best year:”



KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.



SOROS: Yes. Yes.



KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from your fellow Jews, friends and neighbors.



SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.



KROFT: I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?



SOROS: Not, not at all. Not at all, I rather enjoyed it..



KROFT: No No feeling of guilt?



SOROS: No., only feelings of absolute power. If you have read this far I’m thinking Whiskey Tango Foxtrot over?





In his article, Muravchik describes how Soros has admitted to having “carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me in trouble.”



Be that as it may. After WWII, Soros attended the London School of Economics, where he fell under the thrall of fellow atheist and Hungarian, Karl Popper, one of his professors. Popper was a mentor to Soros until Popper’s death in 1994. Two of Popper’s most influential teachings concerned “the open society,” and Fallibilism.



Fallibilism is the philosophical doctrine that all claims of knowledge could, in principle, be mistaken. Then again, I could be wrong about that.



The “open society” basically refers to a “test and evaluate” approach to social engineering. Regarding “open society” Roy Childs writes, “Since the Second World War, most of the Western democracies have followed Popper’s advice about piecemeal social engineering and democratic social reform, and it has gotten them into a grand mess.



In 1956 Soros moved to New York City , where he worked on Wall Street, and started amassing his fortune. He specialized in hedge funds and currency speculation.



Soros is absolutely ruthless, amoral, and clever in his business dealings, and quickly made his fortune. By the 1980s he was well on his way to becoming the global powerhouse that he is today.



In an article Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote for “The American Thinker” she says, “Soros made his first billion in 1992 by shorting the British pound with leveraged billions in financial bets, and became known as the man who broke the Bank of England. He broke it on the backs of hard-working British citizens who immediately saw their homes severely devalued and their life savings cut drastically.aalmost overnight.”



In 1994 Soros croowed in “The New Republic” that “the former Soviet Empire is now called the Soros Empire.” The Russia-gate scandal in 1999, which almost collapsed the Russian economy, was labeled by Rep. Jim Leach, then head of the House Banking Committee, to be “one of the greatest social robberies in human history.” The “Soros Empire” indeed.



In 1997 Soros almost destroyed the economies of Thailand and Malaysia . At the time, Malaysia ’s Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, called Soros “a villain, and a moron.” Thai activist Weng Tojirakarn said, “We regard George Soros as a kind of Dracula. He sucks the blood from the people.”



The website Greek national Pride reports, “[Soros] was part of the full court press that dismantled Yugoslavia and caused trouble in Georgia , Ukraine and Myanmar [ Burma ]. Calling himself a philanthropist, Soros’ role is to tighten the ideological stranglehold of globalization and the New World Order while promoting his own financial gain. He is without conscience; a capitalist who functions with absolute amorality.”



Francehas upheld an earlier conviction against Soros, for felony insider trading. Soros was fined 2.9 million dollars.



Recently, his native Hungary fined Soros 2.2 million dollars for “illegal market manipulation.” Elizabeth Crum writes that “The Hungarian economy has been in a state of transition as the country seeks to become more financially stable and westernized. [Soros'] deliberately driving down the share price of its largest bank put Hungary ’s economy into a wicked tailspin, one from which it is still trying to recover.



My point here is that Soros is a planetary parasite. His grasp, greed, and gluttony have a global reach.



But what about America ? Soros told Australia ’s national newspaper “The Australian” ” America , as the centre of the globalised financial markets, was sucking up the savings of the world. This is now over. The game is out,” he said, adding that the time has come for “a very serious adjustment” in American’s consumption habits. He implied that he was the one with the power to bring this about..



Soros: “World financial crisis wwas” stimulating” and “in a way, the culmination of my life’s work.”



Obama has recently promised 10 billion of our tax dollars to Brazil , in order to give them a leg-up in expanding their offshore oil fields. Obama’s largesse towards Brazil , came shortly after his financial backer George Soros invested heavily in Brazilian oil (Petrobras).



Tait Trussel writes, “The Petrobras loan may be a windfall for Soros and Brazil , but it is a bad deal for the U.S. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that oil exploration in the U.S. could create 160,000 new, well-paying jobs, as well as $1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state, and local governments, all while fostering greater energy security and independance.”



A blog you might want to keep an eye on is SorosWatch.com. Their mission: “This blog is dedicated to all who have suuffered due to the ruthless financial pursuits off.George Soros. Your stories are many and varied, but the theme is the same: the destructive power of greed without conscience. We pledge to tirelessly watch Soros wherever he goes and to print the truth in the hope that he will one day be made to stop preying upon the world’s poor.that justice will be served.”



Back to America . Soros has been actively working to destroy America from the inside out for some years now. People have been warning us. Two years ago Bill O’Reilly said on “The O’Reilly Factor” that “Soros [is] an extremist who wants open borders, a one-world foreign policy, legalized drugs, euthanasia, and on and on. This is off-the-chart dangerous..”



In 1997 Rachel Ehrrenfeld wrote, “Soros uses his philanthropy to change or more accurately deconstruct the moral values and attitudes of the Western world, and particularly of the American people. His “open society” is not about freedom; it is about license. His vision rejects the notion of ordered liberty, in favor of an PROGRESSIVE ideology of rights and entitlements.”



Perhaps the most important of these “whistle blowers” are David Horowitz and Richard Poe. Their book “The Shadow Party” outlines in detail how Soros hijacked the Democratic Party, and now owns it lock, stock, and barrel. Soros has been packing the Democratic Party with radicals, and ousting moderate Democrats for years.



The Shadow Party became the Shadow Government, which became the Obama Administration.



www.DiscoverTheNetworks.org (another good source) writes, “By his [Soros'] own admission, he helped engineer coups in Slovakia , Croatia , Georgia , and Yugoslavia . When Soros targets a country for “regime change,” he begins by creating a shadow government a fully formed government-in- exile, ready to assume power when the opportunity arises. The Shadow Party he has built in America greatly resembles those he has created in other countries prior to instigating a coup.”



November 2008 edition of the German magazine “Der Spiegel,” in which Soros gives his opinion on what the next POTUS (President of the U.S. ) should do after taking office. “I think we need a large stimulus package…” Soros thought that around 600 billion would be about right.



Soros also said that “I think Obama presents us a great opportunity to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence. The U.S. needs a cap and trade system with auctioning of licenses for emissions rights.”



Although Soros doesn’t (yet) own the Republican Party, like he does the Democrats, make no mistake, his tentacles are spread throughout the Republican Party as well.



Soros is a partner in the Carlyle Group where he has invested more than 100 million dollars. According to an article by “The Baltimore Chronicle’s” Alice Cherbonnier, the Carlye Group is run by “a veritable who’s who of former Republican leaders,” from CIA man Frank Carlucci, to CIA head [and ex-President] George Bush, Sr.



In late 2006, Soros bought about 2 million shares of Halliburton Dick Cheney’s old stomping grounds.



When the Democrats and Republicans held their conventions in 2000, Soros held Shadow Party conventions in the same cities, at the same time.



Soros has dirtied both sides of the aisle, trust me. And if that weren’t bad enough, he has long held connections with the CIA.



And I mustn’t forget to mention Soros’ involvement with the MSM (Main Stream Media), the entertainment industry (e.g. he owns 2.6 million shares of Time Warner), and the various political advertising organizations he funnels millions to. In short, George Soros controls or influence most of the MSM. Little wonder they ignore the TEA PARTY, Soro’s NEMESIS.



As Matthew Vadum writes, “The liberal billionaire- turned-philanthr opist has been buying up media properties for years in order to drive home his message to the American public that they are too materialistic, too wasteful, too selfish, and too stupid to decide for themselves how to run their own lives.”



Richard Poe writes, “Soros’ private philanthropy, totaling nearly $5 billion, continues undermining America ’s traditional Western values. His giving has provided funding of abortion rights, atheism, drug legalization, sex education, euthanasia, feminism, gun control, globalization, mass immigration, gay marriage and other radical experiments in social engineering.”



Some of the many NGOs (None Government Organizations) that Soros funds with his billions are: MoveOn.org, the Apollo Alliance, Media Matters for America , the Tides Foundation, the ACLU, ACORN, PDIA (Project on Death In America), La Raza, and many more. For a more complete list, with brief descriptions of the NGOs, go to DiscoverTheNetworks .org.



Poe continues, “Through his global web of Open Society Institutes and Open Society Foundations, Soros has spent 25 years recruiting, training, indoctrinating and installing a network of loyal operatives in 50 countries, placing them in positions of influence and power in media, government, finance and academia.”



Without Soro’s money, would the Saul Alinsky’s Chicago machine still be rolling? Would SEIU, ACORN, and La Raza still be pursuing their nefarious activities? Would Big Money and lobbyists still be corrupting government? Would our college campuses still be retirement homes for 1960s radicals? Yes, yes, yes, and yes



America stands at the brink of an abyss, and that fact is directly attributable to Soros. Soros has vigorously, cleverly, and insidiously planned the ruination of America and his puppet, Barak Obama is leading the way.



The words of Patrick Henry are apropos: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”



These days, Patrick Henry’s sentiment is more than just some quaint hyperbole from long ago it’s a slow burning, but intense, glow that fires our courage and heart. TEA PARTY BEWARE..

Obama Says Wright A Great Man Of The Black Church

From Fire Andrea Mitchell:

Giant Clean-Up Ship Offered, But Bureaucratic Response Is Puny

From The Heritage Foundation:

Giant Cleanup Ship Met with Puny Response from Bureaucrats


Posted June 28th, 2010 at 6:30pm in Energy and Environment with 33 comments Print This Post



After our government claimed that we did not need or could not obtain larger ships to skim the Gulf oil spill, a giant-capacity skimming ship has arrived in U.S. waters. Yet our government has us wondering whether it will permit the ship to join the cleanup effort.



The problem is not simply the Jones Act; it’s also that our Environmental Protection Agency may squelch the ability to use this giant ship.



The S. S. A-Whale is not like the mere 4,000-barrel-a-day vessels we’ve been using. Its owners say this ship, a converted oil tanker, can gather 500,000 barrels a day. By comparison, say the owners, the entire fleet our government has authorized for BP has only gathered 600,000 barrels—TOTAL—in the 70 days since the Deepwater Horizon explosion. (NOTE: 500,000 barrels equals 21-million gallons.)



The A-Whale is the essence of an international ship—built in South Korea, modified in Portugal, owned by Taiwanese and flagged in Liberia. And that is part of the problem. Even if it stays farther offshore than the 3-mile limit of America’s Jones Act, it still requires approval by the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency before BP can hire the A-Whale and put it to work.

The second problem is that the ship would gather spilled oil, separate the water from the oil, and discharge the water back into the ocean so its tanks could be filled with oil. Our EPA has a problem with that, because the discharge would retain a minor amount of oily residue. To EPA, any residue greater than 15 parts per million is impermissible. They elevate perfection above the need for speed.



The A-Whale also uses a skimming method that has been tested but not previously used on an actual spill, gathering oil through large slits cut into the sides of its bow.



When the ship arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, where it awaits a green light, the local media reported.



The Taiwanese-owned, Liberian-flagged ship dubbed the “A Whale” stands 10 stories high, stretches 1,115 feet in length and has a nearly 200-foot beam. It displaces more water than an aircraft carrier.



“Built in South Korea as a supertanker for transporting oil and iron ore, the six-month-old vessel was refitted in the wake of the BP oil spill with 12, 16-foot-long intake vents on the sides of its bow designed to skim oil off surface waters



“The vessel’s billionaire owner, Nobu Su, the CEO of Taiwanese shipping company TMT Group, said the ship would float across the Gulf “like a lawn mower cutting the grass,” ingesting up to 500,000 barrels of oil-contaminated water a day.



“But a number of hurdles stand in his way. TMT officials said the company does not yet have government approval to assist in the cleanup or a contract with BP to perform the work.”



Not trusting the U.S. government to act quickly, TMT has hired public relations officials and lobbyists, and invited the media to inspect the ship, trying to cut through the federal red tape that has slowed down the cleanup so far.



Not until June 16th did our government officially decree that we needed foreign ships, because U.S. skimmers lacked the capacity. And our officials had claimed that no oil tanker-size vessels were available. And they have issued no waivers of the Jones Act.



As Rep. Corinne Brown (D, FL) told a congressional hearing, “We need the large ships. . . . They are available in foreign countries.”



It’s long past due that we put more resources on the problem. Every delay has enabled more oil to make landfall, and be whipped up and spread by potential hurricanes. By bureaucratic delays in finding and hiring bigger cleanup vessels, our government and BP have enabled the problem to be worse than it had to be.

The "Honor" Killing Of Aqsa Parvez

From Human Events--Guns & Patriots:

The Honor Killing of Aqsa Parvez


by Robert Spencer



06/29/2010





Muhammad Parvez and his son Waqas murdered Aqsa Parvez, Muhammad’s daughter and Waqas’s sister, on December 10, 2007, because she wasn’t behaving the way a good Muslim girl should. Last Wednesday, a Canadian court gave them both life sentences for this honor killing. But what is being done to stop the next Islamic honor killing in North America? Next to nothing.





The Koran commands women to “draw their veils over their bosoms” (24:31). While there are varying interpretations of this among Islamic authorities, Islamic traditions attributed to Muhammad amplify this to require that a woman should cover her head in public. Muhammad Parvez was determined to force Aqsa to do so, and to make sure she conformed to other Islamic norms as well. That she didn’t, enraged him: “This is my insult. My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked.”



Aqsa ran away from home, telling friends that Muhammad Parvez had sworn on the Koran to murder her if she did so. But on that December day, Waqas brought Aqsa home from her school bus stop. Less than an hour later she was dead.



Muhammad Parvez clearly believed that by murdering his daughter he was doing the right thing from an Islamic standpoint. And he had abundant reason for getting that idea. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. Syria in July 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’”



In Jordan in 2003, the Parliament voted down, specifically on Islamic grounds, a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”







This is why honor killings keep happening — because they are broadly tolerated, even encouraged, by Islamic teachings and attitudes. Yet no authorities are calling Islamic leaders to account for this. The life sentences given to Muhammad and Waqas Parvez give Muslim spokesmen in Canada and the United States a new opportunity to speak out. They have a new chance to acknowledge that Islam’s shame/honor culture and devaluation of women has created communities in which abuse of women is accepted as normal. They could call for a searching reevaluation of the meaning and continued relevance of material from the Koran and Sunnah that devalues and dehumanizes women, and call in no uncertain terms for Muslims to reject explicitly and definitively the literal meaning of such texts. They could call for sweeping reform and reexamination of the status of women in Islam. They could call upon every mosque in the West to institute classes teaching against honor killing and directly challenging the teachings and assumptions that give it justification.



For any of this to happen, Muslim leaders in the West would have to adopt an utterly unfamiliar and uncharacteristic stance: that of self-reflection and self-criticism, rather than excuse-making, finger-pointing, and evasion of responsibility. But with the mainstream media and law enforcement continuing to abet that evasion, this is unlikely in the extreme. Much more likely is that many, many more Muslim girls in the West will die miserably like Aqsa Parvez. No one is speaking up for them or defending them. Instead, the mainstream media is abetting the denial and obfuscation of the Islamic community by never calling them to account for their bland evasions of responsibility for honor killing.



Yet while honor killings have been known to happen in other cultures, according to Phyllis Chesler, a preeminent scholar of this phenomenon, over 90% of honor killings worldwide happen in an Islamic context. Until both Muslims and non-Muslims face up to that unpleasant fact and its implications, there will be many more girls like Aqsa Parvez.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)", "The Truth About Muhammad," "Stealth Jihad," and most recently "The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran" (all from Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).

The Financial Reform Bill: An Assault On Economic Recovery

From The Heritage Foundation:

The Dodd-Frank Assault on Economic Recovery




Following the release of the 2,000-page Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill last Friday, fixed-income portfolio manager Christine McConnell told Businessweek: "Clarity is good. [Once financial institutions] understand the rules of the road they'll be able to accommodate their business models." There is only one problem: passage of the Dodd-Frank bill doesn't provide any clarity. In fact, it does the exact opposite. The New York Times explains: "The bill, completed early Friday and expected to come up for a final vote this week, is basically a 2,000-page missive to federal agencies, instructing regulators to address subjects ranging from derivatives trading to document retention. But it is notably short on specifics, giving regulators significant power to determine its impact."



In other words, this law is going to be continually rewritten by federal bureaucrats for years to come. And the continued uncertainty it will create is just the beginning of its faults:



Permanent Bailout Authority: The Dodd-Frank bill creates an "orderly liquidation" process by which regulators are empowered to seize financial institutions that they believe are in danger of failing and liquidate them. While the lack of a broadly accepted process for closing down large financial institutions helped lead to the massive bailouts of 2008 and 2009, this liquidation process is problematic. Federal regulators are granted broad powers to seize private firms they feel are in danger of default, and these powers are subject to insufficient judicial review. Such governmental discretion to seize private property is constitutionally troubling.



Trusting the Same Regulators that Failed Last Time: The legislation establishes a new 10-member Financial Stability Oversight Council composed of regulators that would be responsible for monitoring and addressing system-wide risks to the financial system. This council would also have nearly unlimited powers to draft financial firms into the regulatory system and even force them to sell off or close pieces of themselves. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to detect systemic risk before a crisis has occurred, and the council would serve mainly as a group to blame for failing at an almost impossible task. On the other hand, its huge powers are much more likely to destabilize the financial system by stifling innovative products while failing to detect dangers posed by existing ones.



Brand New Innovation Killing Regulators: The bill also creates a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection with broad powers to regulate the financial products and services that can be offered to consumers. The new agency would nominally be part of the Federal Reserve System, but it would have extraordinary autonomy. This autonomy would impede the efforts of existing regulators to ensure the safety and soundness of financial firms, as rules imposed by the new agency would conflict with that goal. For many consumers, this would make credit more expensive and harder to get.



Micromanaging the Market: The conference committee also added a form of the "Volcker rule" which would largely prohibit any bank or other institution with FDIC-insured deposits from undertaking proprietary trading or from owning or sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds. While the legislation does reject the near-total ban on such investments, the difference between legitimate and traditional activities and those the Volcker rule seeks to ban would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine. Attempting to do so would require an intrusive, expensive regulatory compliance system that by its nature would micromanage day-to-day activities.



Fannie and Freddie Forever: Despite much rhetoric about ending bailouts, the bill does nothing to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the largest recipients of federal bailout money. These two government-sponsored enterprises, now in federal receivership, helped fuel the housing bubble. When it popped, taxpayers found themselves on the hook for some $150 billion in bailout money. The failure to address their future is a serious error and shows just how hollow are claims that this agreement will prevent future crises.



These are just some of the major flaws in a bill that is just one House and Senate vote away from President Barack Obama's desk (a fuller list can be found here). But final passage is not as sure today as it looked Friday. The passing of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) leaves the majority one vote short of the 60 needed to move for a final vote. In addition, the insertion of an estimated $20 billion in new taxes has Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) reconsidering his original vote in favor of the measure. Scott released a statement explaining: "My fear is that these costs would be passed onto consumers in the form of higher bank, ATM and credit card fees and put a strain on lending at the worst possible time for our economy. I’ve said repeatedly that I cannot support any bill that raises taxes."



Explaining that the Dodd-Frank bill would force banks to either take on more risk to recoup earnings diminished by reform or behave too conservatively in order to avoid losses, financial analyst Chris Mutascio summarized the ultimate effect of the legislation: "Pick your poison—neither tastes good to us and we believe neither is particularly good for the economy and job growth."

White House Misses Deadline For Creating High-Risk Pools

from The Heritage Foundation:

White House Misses Deadline for Creating High-Risk Pools




We’ve all heard it before — the age-old saying “Better late than never.” Well, get ready to hear it again, this time from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, regarding the creation of high-risk pools under Obamacare.



The pools were supposed to provide coverage for individuals who cannot get health insurance because of chronic illness. Obamacare slated the establishment of the pools to occur no later than 90 days after the legislation passed on March 23. Last Monday (June 21) marked day 90, and the pools are nowhere to be found.



Covering the uninsured and those who need it most was advertised as one of the top priorities for the congressional majority’s health care agenda, so it’s hard to understand how Sebelius could have overlooked such an important deadline. After all, it’s her job to implement Obamacare.



It gets worse. Not only has Sebelius failed to meet the high-risk pool deadline, but earlier this week the Congressional Budget Office found that the pools will be underfunded by $5 billion to $10 billion. This blunder could result in 500,000 people with pre-existing conditions not receiving the coverage they were promised.



According to the White House, as many as 12 million people are currently denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. In its current form, the poorly designed, federal high-risk pool program will provide coverage to only a small fraction of these patients. Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, claims the government will be able to do so for only one or two years before exhausting its allocated funding. At least 19 states, armed with this information, have declined joining these new high-risk pools.



These mammoth mistakes have not gone unnoticed. Tuesday, Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and 30 other Republicans sent a letter to Sebelius, reminding her of the missed deadline.



The senators also had a few questions: When will the money for these high-risk pools be distributed to participating states? When will funding be provided for the 19 states that refused to participate in the federal program? And how many Americans will covered by these pools each year?



Sebelius was asked to respond by June 30, but it’s unlikely she will have any more luck in meeting this deadline than she did the previous one. More likely, she will follow the “better-late-than-never” mantra. It’s becomes more clear that Americans would have been better off if Obamacare never passed.

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Gov. Brewer Says Obama Gives Mexico Twice The Money given To Arizona For National Guard Protection

From Floyd Reports (Impeach Obama Campaign):

Video: Gov. Brewer says Obama deciding to give Mexico double the money that it gives to Arizona for Nat. Guard protection



Posted by Patrick on June 29, 2010






For those of you trying to reach the video on the Obama/Blagojevich connection, please click here. We are sorry for the inconvenience.



The Obama administration is suing Arizona over their recent immigration law, which is an attempt to slow the many illegal immigrants pouring into Arizona.



Now the Obama administration is giving more money to Mexico than they are to Arizona, according to a recent meeting Gov. Jan Brewer had with administration officials.

Obama's Oil Spill Bungle

From Dick Morris:

OBAMA'S BIG OIL SPILL BUNGLE




By DICK MORRIS



Published on TheHill.com on June 29, 2010



It's one thing to say that Obama's administration showed ineptitude and mismanagement in its handling of the Gulf oil spill. It is quite another to grasp the situation up close, as I did during a recent visit to Alabama.



According to state disaster relief officials, Alabama conceived a plan -- early on -- to erect huge booms offshore to shield the approximately 200 miles of the state's coastline from oil. Rather than install the relatively light and shallow booms in use elsewhere, the state (with assistance from the Coast Guard) canvassed the world and located enough huge, heavy booms -- some weighing tons and seven meters high -- to guard their coast.



But...no sooner were the booms in place than the Coast Guard, perhaps under pressure from the public comments of James Carville, uprooted them and moved them to guard the Louisiana coastline instead.



So Alabama decided on a backup plan. It would buy snare booms to catch the oil as it began to wash up on the beaches.



But...the Fish and Wildlife Administration vetoed the plan, saying it would endanger sea turtles that nest on the beaches.



So Alabama -- ever resourceful -- decided to hire 400 workers to patrol the beaches in person, scooping up oil that had washed ashore.



But...OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) refused to allow them to work more than 20 minutes out of every hour and required an hourlong break after 40 minutes of work, so the cleanup proceeded at a very slow pace.



The short answer is that every agency -- each with its own particular bureaucratic agenda -- was able to veto each aspect of any plan to fight the spill, with the unintended consequence that nothing stopped the oil from destroying hundreds of miles of wetlands, habitats, beaches, fisheries and recreational facilities.



Where was the president? Why did he not intervene in these and countless other bureaucratic controversies to force a focus on the oil, not on the turtles and other incidental concerns?



According to Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, the administration's "lack of ability has become transparent" in its handling of the oil spill. He notes that one stellar exception has been Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, without whom, he says, nothing whatever would have gotten done.



Eventually, the state stopped listening to federal agencies and just has gone ahead and given funds directly to the local folks fighting the spill rather than paying attention to the directives of the Unified Command. Apparently, there is a world of difference between the competence of the Coast Guard and the superb and efficient regular Navy and military.



Now the greatest crisis of all looms on the horizon as hurricanes sweep into the Gulf. Should one hit offshore, it will destroy all the booms that have been placed to stop the oil from reaching shore. And there are no more booms anywhere in the world, according to Alabama disaster relief officials. "There is no more inventory of booms anywhere on earth," one told me in despair.



The political impact of this incompetence has only just begun to be felt. While administration operatives are flying high after a week in which the president's ratings rebounded to 49 percent, per Rasmussen, after his firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the oil is still gushing and the situation is about to worsen.



The obvious fact is that Obama has no executive experience, nor do any of his top advisers. Without a clear mandate from the top, needed efforts to salvage the situation are repeatedly stymied by well-meaning bureaucrats strictly following the letter of their agency policy and federal law. The result, ironically, of their determined efforts to protect the environment has been the greatest environmental disaster in history. But some turtles are OK!

Four Supreme Court Justices Deny An Explicit Constitutional Right

They can find a right to kill babies in the Constitution, but they can't read a right that is explicitly stated in the Constitution....

From Reason.com and The Patriot Update:

Gun Shy


Four Supreme Court justices make the case against constitutional rights.

Jacob Sullum
June 30, 2010



Listen to Audio Version (MP3)



On Monday the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies to states and cities as well as the federal government. Judging from their objections, the four dissenters were still reeling from the Court's landmark 2008 decision recognizing that the amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.



In their dissenting opinions, Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer (joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor) worry that overturning gun control laws undermines democracy. If "the people" want to ban handguns, they say, "the people" should be allowed to implement that desire through their elected representatives.



What if the people want to ban books that offend them, establish an official church, or authorize police to conduct warrantless searches at will? Those options are also foreclosed by constitutional provisions that apply to the states by way of the 14th Amendment. The crucial difference between a pure democracy and a constitutional democracy like ours is that sometimes the majority does not decide.



Likewise, Stevens defends "state and local legislatures' right to experiment," while Breyer is loath to interfere with "the ability of States to reflect local preferences and conditions—both key virtues of federalism." Coming from justices who think Congress can disregard state decisions about the medical use of marijuana because a plant on the windowsill of a cancer patient qualifies as interstate commerce, this sudden concern about federalism is hard to take seriously.



Another reason to doubt the dissenters' sincerity: They would never accept federalism as a rationale for letting states "experiment" with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or due process protections. Much of their job, as they themselves see it, involves overriding "local preferences" that give short shrift to constitutional rights.



Second Amendment rights are different, Breyer says, because "determining the constitutionality of a particular state gun law requires finding answers to complex empirically based questions." So does weighing the claims in favor of banning child pornography or depictions of animal cruelty, relaxing the Miranda rule, admitting illegally obtained evidence, or allowing warrantless pat-downs, dog sniffs, or infrared surveillance.



When they decide whether a law or practice violates a constitutional right, courts cannot avoid empirical questions. In cases involving racial discrimination or content-based speech restrictions, for example, they ask whether the challenged law is "narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest" and is the "least restrictive means" of doing so.



But unlike equal protection or freedom of speech, Stevens says, "firearms have a fundamentally ambivalent relationship to liberty." How so? "Just as they can help homeowners defend their families and property from intruders," he explains, "they can help thugs and insurrectionists murder innocent victims."



Every right can be abused, with results that are immoral, illegal, or both. Freedom of speech can be used to spread hateful ideas, promote pernicious political philosophies, slander the innocent, or engage in criminal conspiracies. If there were no potential for harm from exercising a right, there would be no need to protect it, because no one would try to restrict it.



The dissenters' most frivolous objection is that making states obey the Second Amendment "invites an avalanche of litigation," as Stevens puts it. Every day we hear about cases in which people argue that the government has violated their rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, or Eighth amendment. Neither Stevens nor Breyer wants to stop this "avalanche." Only when the Second Amendment is added to the mix do they recoil in horror at the prospect that Americans will use the courts to vindicate their rights.



Stevens warns that "the practical significance of the proposition that 'the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States' remains to be worked out by this Court over many, many years." But that's because the Court for many, many years ignored the Second Amendment while gradually defining the contours of its neighbors in the Bill of Rights. There is a lot of catching up to do.



Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.



© Copyright 2010 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Now These Are Campaign Ads--Republicans Take Notice

from The Patriot UpdateL













Once Again, Third World Mexico Fails The Democracy Test

From VOL and The Patriot Update:

29.6.10


Once Again, 3rd- World Mexico Fails the Democracy Test















By John W. Lillpop





Mexican President Felipe Calderon needs to get his priorities straight, and in a hurry.



This is so because while the muddled Mexican was lecturing the American Congress about democracy and the rule of law in Arizona, his beloved Mexico continued to fall further into the grips of drug cartels, corruption, and violence.



An inconvenient truth looms for the addled Calderon: Mexico has lost the war to drug cartels, corruption, and violence, and, as a result, this pathetic nation is incapable of functioning as Democracy.



Get it, Felipe? The game is over. Mexico is on a par with Pakistan, or Afghanistan.



Another failed state, but this one right next door to the most sophisticated and successful democratic nation in history. (At least it was until November, 2008, that is.)



The bitter truth is that Democracy is no longer possible in Mexico. That fact was demonstrated in spades with the announcement that a leading gubernatorial candidate was assassinated in cold blood just days before an important election.



As reported at reference 1, in part:



“Last Friday, June 25, gubernatorial candidate Rodolfo Torre raised both his arms to the sky in front of 15,000 cheering white-shirted supporters in a baseball stadium minutes from the Rio Grande. After he promised security in his violence-ridden border state of Tamaulipas, the crowd erupted to his campaign anthem, sung to the catchy tune of the smash hit "I Gotta Feeling" by U.S. pop band Black Eyed Peas.



They had reason for celebration. Opinion polls all concurred that the mustachioed physician would win the July 4 election by a landslide of more than 30 points. But on Monday, as Torre left the state capital to conclude his campaign, assailants showered his convoy with gunfire from automatic rifles and heavy-caliber weapons, killing him instantly. Army commanders said the attack bore all the signs of the Zetas, a paramilitary drug gang that was born in the state.



Mexico's highest-profile political assassination since the 1994 murder of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was a blow not only to Torre's supporters but to the nation's entire ailing democracy.



On July 4, voters will choose governors in 12 of 31 states in a "Super Sunday" of local elections. The ballots come almost exactly a decade after the nation voted to end 71 years of one-party rule. But rather than showcasing the success of multiparty democracy, the campaigns have highlighted its hazards. Races have been dampened by arrests of candidates on racketeering charges, leaked tapes of organized vote buying and a succession of violent attacks.



After the Torre killing, some politicians asked for half of the races to be suspended. "This is extremely worrying," says political scientist Maria Eugenia Valdes. "If there is fear and violence, there is no freedom. And if there is no freedom, we cannot have fair elections.”



In light of the truth about Mexico, the burning question of the day is: Why are President Obama and the Democrats wasting time and energy in an effort to legalize 12-38 million invading criminals from Mexico, rather than working to secure our borders and protect American citizens from the violence and mayhem that runs rampant in that failed state?



Why has President Obama not sent tens of thousands of troops to the border to keep the decay that is destroying Mexico from spreading north?





1- http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100630/wl_time/08599200051100

Posted by John W Lillpop at 10:23 PM

Sanctuary City Succumbs To Invasion By Illegals

From The Patriot Update:

FROM JEROME CORSI'S RED ALERT




Invasion! U.S. 'sanctuary city' succumbs to illegals

1st municipality to fire all public employees after being forced into bankruptcy



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted: June 28, 2010

12:56 pm Eastern



© 2010 WorldNetDaily





Mexican flag flies at Maywood, Calif., post office (courtesy: Terry Anderson show)

Editor's Note: The following report is excerpted from Jerome Corsi's Red Alert, the premium online newsletter published by the current No. 1 best-selling author, WND staff writer and columnist. Red Alert subscriptions are $99 a year or $9.95 per month for credit card users. Annual subscribers will receive a free autographed copy of "The Late Great USA," a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation's sovereignty.



A California "sanctuary city" has fallen victim to illegal immigration – going bankrupt and firing all of its public employees, Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports.



The city of Maywood, Calif., hit the budget wall after it decided not only to be a sanctuary city, but to be a completely "safe haven" for illegal aliens seeking protection from deportation.



(Story continues below)









"Predictably, mainstream-media newspapers, including the Financial Times in London, chose to present Maywood as a victim to the recession, rather than to tell the whole story – that Maywood fell victim to illegal immigration," Corsi wrote.



"Crushed by the recession and falling tax revenues, the city is disbanding the police force and firing all public-sector employees," Matthew Garrahan wrote in the Financial Times, never mentioning that illegal immigration was the problem.



Maywood is a small town comprising only about 1.2 square miles on the southern border of Los Angeles. More than 96 percent of its residents are Hispanic. The town's official population is listed at 29,000 but may be nearly 45,000 when illegal aliens living in Maywood are counted.





Maywood, Calif., in August 2006 (Photo: Flopping Aces blog)







In January 2006, Maywood's city council passed a resolution declaring that the city would not enforce any federal law such as H.R. 4557 that sought to declare illegal immigrants to be felons.



More aggressive even than sanctuary laws, this new resolution prohibited Maywood police from being involved in any immigration-enforcement actions undertaken by federal, state or county authorities.



On April 11, 2006, in writing the book titled "Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America's Borders," Jim Gilchrist and Corsi interviewed Maywood Mayor Thomas Martin by telephone.



In the shocking interview available at Red Alert, the mayor strongly suggested the city of Maywood was willing to defy any federal law demanding that the police get directly involved in enforcing immigration laws.



For the full interview with Maywood Mayor Thomas Martin, read Jerome Corsi's Red Alert, the premium, online intelligence news source by the WND staff writer, columnist and author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, "The Obama Nation."



Red Alert's author, whose books "The Obama Nation" and "Unfit for Command" have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.



In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.